Jason Miller is a 39-year-old activist writer with a degree in liberal arts. When he is not spending time with his wife and three sons, researching, or writing, he is working as a loan counselor. He is a member of Amnesty International and an avid supporter of Oxfam International and Human Rights Watch. He welcomes responses at firstname.lastname@example.org or comments on his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner.
By Jason Miller
The State of the Empire Address
The De Facto Tyrant: Thank you all. Mr. Speaker, Uncle Dick, my Congressional collaborators, my five guaranteed votes on the Supreme Court, distinguished plutocrats, and the rest of you wretched plebs we begrudgingly tolerate (because you grease the wheels of our money-making machine): Today our nation lost a beloved, graceful, courageous woman who called America to its founding ideals and carried on a noble dream. Tonight we are comforted by the fact that my regime is working vigorously to cause that noble dream to unravel at the seams.
Every time I’m invited to this rostrum, I remind you of the working class that you have been humbled by the privilege of serving under the strong and resolute leadership of my cabal. We have gathered under this Capitol dome in moments of national mourning and national achievement, but my fellow patricians and I have prospered, regardless of the state of the rest of the nation. It has been your honor to give your blood, sweat and tears to further our financial interests.
In a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there is difference and debate. However, my corrupt, power-hungry colleagues and I have implemented measures to minimize and even eliminate that debate. To confront the great issues before us, I must be empowered as the ultimate authority, unfettered by the inefficiencies and headaches of answering to an empowered Congress or Supreme Court. Tonight the state of our Empire is strong---and my Regime will bleed you and the rest of the world dry to make it stronger.
In this decisive year, I will continue making choices to erode the character of our country. I will choose to continue pursuing fictitious enemies of freedom---rather than ceasing the perpetual war on terror, which would seriously undermine the profits of many of my corporate supporters. I will choose to build our wealthy elites’ prosperity by continuing to facilitate the exploitation of the workers and resources of other nations---in lieu of putting a leash on avaricious US corporations, which might expose the patrician class to loss of income. In a complex and challenging time, the road to becoming a decent, responsible member of the world community may seem broad and inviting---yet it ends in danger to the staggering affluence of my “base” and decline in the influence of the Empire. The only way to protect our investments, the only way to secure more money and power, the only way to control our destiny is through Neocolonialism and military invasion---so the United States will continue to defy international law, plunder resources, engage in torture, utilize slave labor, and murder millions of innocent civilians.
Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal---we seek the end of tyranny in our world by employing our own. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future security of our corporatocracy depends on it. On September 11th, 2001, we found that our continued oppression and aggression in the Middle East could bring murder and destruction to our country (albeit some say my regime had a hand in the events of that day, but the world will never know the truth). Dictatorships shelter terrorists, feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction. For evidence, look no further than Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph, Dominionists, and the largest arsenal of nuclear weaponry in the history of mankind. Every step toward America’s domination in the world makes our financial position stronger—so we will act boldly in rapidly concentrating power in the Executive Branch and in expanding the Empire.
Far from being a hopeless dream, the advance of tyranny under the guise of democracy is the great story of our time. We’re writing a new chapter in the story of self-government. Just as we have with you in America, we will beguile the people of other nations into believing they are free, when in reality, once one scratches beneath the surface, their government will be a plutocracy, by the rich, for the rich and of the rich. Those resisting our spread of pseudo-democracy, like Syria, North Korea, and Iran, will find themselves in our cross-hairs.
No one can deny the success of the Empire, but some men rage and fight against it. And one of the main sources of reaction to our invasion, murder, and Neocolonialism is radical Islam---the stereotypical description we use for all Middle Eastern people who dare to defy our mighty nation. Terrorists like bin Laden are, like my cabal and me, serious about mass murder. They seek to prevent us from imposing a heartless system of totalitarian control throughout the Middle East as we utilize our own arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.
Our aim is to seize power in Iraq, and use it as a safe haven to launch attacks against Syria and Iran. Lacking the military strength to challenge them directly, we will rely upon air strikes, tactical nuclear weapons, and Israel, the architect of our foreign policy. While the Terrorists have killed a few thousand, including 9/11, Spain, and London, we have killed over a hundred thousand in Iraq. Despite the fact that they were civilians, each of them could easily have become the next bin Laden. The world is safer without them.
Ina time of testing, we cannot find security by abandoning our oil and war for profit. If we were to leave the vicious attackers from the Middle East alone, they would not leave us alone. They have proven that time and again. Like on 9/11, and...Well....like on 9/11. By leaving radical Islam to work its will, we would signal that we no longer believe that our radical Christianity is morally superior, and that the Empire is too weak to continue its expansion. Our enemies (and two remaining friends) can be certain that the United States will never surrender in its bid to impose its own form of evil upon the world. Not on my watch.
We are one of the nations that contributed greatly to the environment which fostered Hitler. While helping remove him from power was indeed a noble cause, we used World War II to forge the military industrial complex and to impose Pax Americana in the aftermath. We forced a Soviet Union with a much weaker economy into a nuclear arms race. The Cold War greatly enriched corporate America while wreaking financial devastation upon many in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In Iraq, we are once again utilizing the illusion of helping the oppressed to move the world toward perpetual war.
We remain on the offensive in Afghanistan and continue to ravage a nation devastated by decades of war. In Iraq, we also remain on the offensive, oblivious to the cost in human lives. We have a muddled plan, but will eventually achieve the victory of having crushed Israel's chief antagonist and controlling Iraq’s vast oil reserves.
Our work in Iraq is difficult because our enemy is brutal. On the other hand, we are fighting in a civilized way. Our depleted uranium, missiles, tanks, cannons, air strikes, and multiple other means of killing are politically correct and legal. We wear uniforms and are an organized military, so when we liquidate civilians, it is not an act of murder, terrorism, or brutality. We are in this fight to win and will annihilate every human being in Iraq if that is what it takes. Yet we are noble liberators and the Iraqi resistance fighters are brutal Terrorists.
In the coming year, I will continue to reach out and seek your good advice, as long as you agree with me. If you do not, you will be sharing a cell with Ms. Sheehan, whom they led out of this hallowed rostrum earlier tonight. Hindsight and second-guessing are worthless, particularly when they incriminate me as a war criminal. Therefore, they will not be tolerated.
A sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq would save Iraqis from death and prison. It would also put men who would reject American and Israeli domination in charge of a strategic country. We must protect our interests in the region, even if it means the murder of innocents and bloody sacrifices by our own military.
Our men and women in uniform are making sacrifices to protect the interests of the wealthy and powerful of America. We have inculcated a false sense of duty into the minds of our nation's youth, and used a host of financial enticements and propaganda, to manipulate them into risking, sacrificing, and sometimes dying to perpetuate our ugly agenda. We are grateful to the fallen. Without them, men like Dick Cheney would not enjoy the immense wealth and power he has at his disposal.
Ultimately, the only way to defeat the Terrorists' dark vision of hatred and fear is by killing more people than they have and by pounding the people of the Middle East into submission. The Palestinian people have voted in elections. Now the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, accept the Apartheid-like conditions imposed by Israel, disarm, reject terrorism as a tool for themselves but accept the fact that Israel will continue to act as a terrorist state, and work for lasting peace by rolling over for Israel and the United States.
The same is true of Iran. They are a nation held hostage by a small clerical elite. I admire how those clerics could accomplish such a feat when we have been unable to do likewise in Iraq, even with 130,000 occupying troops. The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, which we have grossly exaggerated to whip Americans into a frenzy against them. Only the mighty United States, the world's biggest hypocrite on the issue of nuclear ambition, gets to determine which nations can be trusted with nuclear capabilities. We will not permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. Despite the fact that they are years away from having them, and that their capabilities to harm the United States would be limited once they got them, America will continue use the "nuclear card" to evoke a regime change in Iran. If a nation is not receptive to the plutocratic, capitalistic way of the Empire, their leadership will be extinguished.
Tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America wants your oil and sees your nation as a threat to the Empire. We have had you in our sights since you exiled the Shah and will not rest until we have installed a ruler friendly to our interests.
Our country must also remain on the offensive against terrorism here at home. The enemy is lurking around every corner. If you are approached by an individual of Middle Eastern dissent, do not hesitate to eye them warily and to report them to the proper authorities. To aid our superb professionals in law enforcement, and to continue the erosion of the civil liberties stymieing my bid to become an outright tyrant, I urge Congress to serve the interests of the wealthy elite in America by reauthorizing the Patriot Act.
It is said that prior to the attacks of September the 11th, our government failed to connect the dots of the conspiracy. Do not interpret my use of the word conspiracy in place of the word attack to mean that I am admitting that there was a conspiracy involving members of my cabal. My point is that we now know that two of the hijackers made telephone calls to fellow conspirators overseas. So to prevent another attack, I have usurped my executive authority by authorizing my operatives to spy on American citizens. I did so without proper authorization from the FISA court under the false premise that the "War on Terror" has given me unlimited authority as Commander in Chief. If there are people inside our country who are dissenting against my Regime, we want to know about it so we can take advantage of the end of habeas corpus. We have cells awaiting them at Guantanamo Bay.
To spread our foul money-worshipping, bellicose Empire, we need friends and allies, beyond Great Britain and Israel. To draw that support, we must intimidate, bribe, coerce, and extort. The only alternative is the collapse of a tenuous Empire, whose foundation is already sinking into a quagmire of $8 trillion worth of debt and the potential Iranian oil bourse. America's plutocracy is always more secure when tyranny is on the march.
Our own generation is now engaged in an indefinitely long, nebulous, and ambiguous "War on Terror"---a war that will be fought by Presidents of both parties of the corrupt duopoly. We need steady support from Congress to keep the funding flowing. We need the support of the working class of America to ensure a steady supply of young men and women to act as cannon fodder. Together, let us perpetuate the wealth and privilege of America's ruling class.
Here at home, America's wealthy elite (my base) have a great opportunity: build the prosperity of our country by expanding the Empire's economic dominance through the exploitation of the people and resources of other nations.
Our economy is healthy and vigorous. Over the last two-and-a-half years, America has created 4.6 million jobs, many of them low-paying with minimal benefits. This has enabled executives, CEOs, and major shareholders to profit handsomely at the expense of the working class. The American economy is the envy of the wealthy elite throughout the world as we have a working class willingly working harder for less money, fewer benefits, and less governmental regulation to protect their rights.
We cannot afford to be complacent. In a dynamic world, we are seeing a competitor like China, which creates uncertainty because they hold much of our government's debt my Regime has created. Some say the government needs to take a larger role in directing the economy by centralizing more power in Washington and increasing taxes. I have a better strategy. We will continue deregulating businesses, which enables them to increase their bottom line as they are decreasingly concerned about petty issues like employee rights, consumer safety, and the environment. We will make the obscenely high tax cuts for the wealthy permanent. Corporate welfare will continue while social programs for the poor will wither and die. Yes, life is good in the USA if you are rich.
Every year of my presidency, we've reduced the growth of non-security discretionary spending. While defense and pork spending has spiraled out of control (remember our obscenely over-funded annual military budget of $600 billion and Ted Steven's $1.5 billion "Bridge to Nowhere"?), last year we cut bills that cut spending on superfluous programs like Medicaid, student loan programs and food stamps. My budget will again reduce or eliminate over 140 of these programs which are performing poorly or not fulfilling essential priorities. We will continue to increase spending for the military and Homeland Security, both of which have performed so well in Iraq and New Orleans respectively.
We must also find a way to apply Grover Norquist's notion of drowning government in a bathtub by privatizing Social Security. My friends on Wall Street need and deserve the commissions to be had through managing Social Security investing. If we do not act to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as government entitlement programs, by 2030 Congress will face the same choices they face today---regressive tax increases, immense deficits (you thought $8 trillion was a large debt), or deep cuts in every category of spending (except defense). Congress did not put Social Security into the hands of private investors like I wanted last year. The rising cost of entitlements is not going away, and the simple fact is that the poor and infirm are entitled to nothing. Every year we fail to act, the more money we waste on these inconsequential people.
I will give you a little lip service about tightening America's borders, but the reality is I will do little or nothing to stem the flow of illegal immigration from Mexico. These indigents provide my corporate friends with a labor force comprised of people who can be intimidated into working for next to nothing.
Some muddle-headed bleeding hearts believe that our government has a responsibility to provide health care for the poor and the elderly. We are doing our best to undermine those programs, as evidenced by cuts in Medicaid spending and the new Medicare prescription drug program.
We will strengthen health savings accounts, which will encourage employers to abandon offering health care coverage to their employees, thereby eliminating an unnecessary hindrance to corporate profit. And because lawsuits are driving too many good doctors out of practice--leaving too many OB-GYNs unable to practice their love with women all across this country---I ask Congress to further impede the consumer's ability to file lawsuits if they are victimized by medical malpractice.
America is addicted to oil. My family and friends arise each day and thank God for this fact. Unfortunately, oil is often imported from parts of the world which have not embraced the ways of the Empire, like the Middle East. The best way to handle that problem is through military intervention. That way corporations like Halliburton (which services both the defense and petroleum sectors) can continue to enjoy unprecedented profits. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop alternative energy sources, but that was merely to appease those idiotic environmentalists, some of whom actually believe Global Warming is occurring. Exxon Mobile logged earnings of $36.13 billion in 2005, the largest profit in US history. You live in a fantasy world if you think we are truly seeking to overcome our petroleum addiction.
Despite the fact that the No Child Left Behind initiative has further reduced public education's emphasis on critical thinking and analysis while heightening its focus on rote memory and test-taking, I am committed to maintaining the illusion that America leads the world in human talent and creativity. Tonight I announce an American Competitiveness Initiative, to ensure the preservation of our economy to the extent that the upper .1% can continue to prosper. While leaving a majority of American students with dulled intellects to lessen the possibility that they will challenge the ruling elite (and to provide Wal-Mart with a work-force), we will develop a select few in the areas of math and science. The humanities encourage independent, critical thought and an examination of history, society, and politics which could lead to dissent against our tyranny, so those subjects will be de-emphasized. The math and science are essential skills for those we will use to staff the military industrial complex.
America is a great force for exploitation, immediate gratification, xenophobia, and unbridled greed. Our greatness is measured in power and luxuries, not in how we treat people. We strive to appear compassionate, decent and hopeful as we execute our narcissistic, malevolent, and avaricious agenda.
In recent years, America has become a nation based on the theory of Social Darwinism. The prison industrial complex is thriving, with non-violent drug offenders doing hard time while "white collar" corporate executives who have fleeced shareholders and employees of billions do short stints in country clubs. Welfare cases have dropped thanks to significant cuts to entitlement programs. The gap between the rich and the poor in America has widened to a chasm. There have been fewer abortions, and it is likely to be a short time before abortion will again be relegated to back alley butchers.
These gains represent a quiet transformation--a devolution of conscience. My Regime has played a huge role. Wise programs such as tax cuts for the wealthy and deep cuts to programs benefiting the most vulnerable members of our society have seriously eroded the character of our country. And we are proud of that record!
And many Americans, especially our own religious radicals amongst the Domionists and Religious Right, still have deep concerns about the direction of our culture. They are deeply alarmed by threats to their fragile psyches as they desperately cling to their heterosexuality, terrified that they might actually discover they are gay. Activist judges threaten to legitimize the sin of homosexuality by allowing the abomination of gay marriage.
To ensure that the legislating that does occur from the bench is slanted toward archaic moral principals (i.e. rigidly defined sexual roles), property rights over human rights, profit over humanity and the environment, and the concentration of power into the Executive Branch (my hands), the Supreme Court now has two new members. Please welcome Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. They are here to ensure the further erasure of progressive gains made throughout the Twentieth Century.
Today marks the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Good riddance to her. Her vote was far too unpredictable.
A society resting on the premise of Social Darwinism disregards the public trust. The members of my Regime are Machiavellian adherents to the philosophies of Leo Strauss. For people like us, and for our friends in corporate America like Ken Lay, ethics and morals are impediments to our success. It is necessary that we strive to give the appearance of adhering to them. Our society would not function if the working class did not buy into their value, but the reality is that for the elite, they are mere hindrances. Our challenge is to achieve our goals through grossly unethical conduct while creating the appearance of propriety.
A society in which the rich prey upon the poor does not come to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency. That is why we allowed 1500 to die in New Orleans and hundreds of thousands to scatter to the wind in a diaspora unparalleled in American history. So far the federal government has committed $85 billion to the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, and you can bet we won't waste it on poor, non-whites. Corporate America and my rich cronies will be the beneficiaries of this largess.
Social Darwinists leave fights against diseases like HIV to faith-based groups and churches. Due to their irresponsible behavior and drug addictions, the largest segment of American society infected with HIV is African American. We will not pay for their ignorance.
My Regime is calling you to continue waging war against humanity. History is turning a wide arc, toward the shore described in the Project for the New American Century. The destination of history is determined by human action, and you are either with us, or against us, as we strive vigorously to attain global hegemony.
Lincoln could have accepted peace at the cost of disunity and continued slavery (which, come to think of it, would not have been such a bad thing). Unfortunately, Martin Luther King did not stop at Birmingham or at Selma, which has necessitated the appointment of Roberts and Alito. The United States is complicit in the oppression of others, but it is for a noble cause: the continued prosperity of our plutocracy. Having come this far in enhancing our abundance, we must decide, will we turn back, or finish wealthier?
Before history is written in books, it is written in courage. While my Regime lacks courage, we have an abundance of deceit, cunning, and motivation to expand the Empire. We will lead tyranny's advance. We will dominate the globe. We will renew the defining Social Darwinism which slipped away at the close of the Gilded Age. And so we move forward--optimistic about our increased opportunities to expand our riches and confident of the profits to come.
May God bless America's plutocracy!
(Essayist's Note to Credit the Author of the Actual State of the Union Address: I acknowledge that fragments of Bush's actual speech are interwoven throughout my version presented above).